An AP article entitled Family Feuds Follow Famous People After Death has fun rounding up all the latest celebrity probate cases in one nice package. I’ve written about some of the cases mentioned in the linked-to article (James Brown, Billy Graham), noted two celebrity cases not mentioned in the article (Jimmy Hendrix, Celia Cruz), and was amused to find bits of probate gossip I’d missed (Ted Williams, Peter Lawford, Marlon Brando, Ray Charles). Here’s an excerpt from the linked-to AP piece:
James Brown has yet to rest in peace.
His embalmed body lies in a sealed casket at his South Carolina home while his family and attorneys argue over his estate and final resting place. Security guards maintain constant watch over the Godfather of Soul — whose coffin sits in a temperature-controlled room — while issues surrounding his estate are hashed out. Brown died Dec. 25.
Such posthumous problems are not new. While burial battles like Brown’s are rare, family dramas have haunted famous folks well into the afterlife.
The list includes athletes, musicians, movie stars and others.
"It’s just the nature of families," said Joelle Drucker, an attorney with Greenberg Traurig in Los Angeles. "If you don’t get along, if there’s a prior marriage with children and conflicting interests, there’s always going to be fighting. It tends to be the norm rather than the exception."